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BMO Tower opens at 15% capacity due to coronavirus

Posted at 6:20 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 08:34:50-04

MILWAUKEE — After two false starts, BMO Tower in Milwaukee is officially open.

The 380,000 square foot 25 story building is located at 790 North Water St. in downtown Milwaukee. In fact, it is the third BMO/ BMO Harris location on Water Street since 1913.

However, this grand opening lacked the normal fanfare and hustle and bustle one would expect from a building that can hold 2,000 workers. Due to the coronavirus, companies like BMO Harris are keeping some workers at home.

“We are not open at full capacity yet, but we do have anywhere from 70 to 100 people working in our tower every day," Jud Snyder, the Senior Executive for BMO Southeast Wisconsin said.

Of the about 700 BMO employees that will eventually work inside the tower, Snyder said they only have about 15 percent of people inside as of the grand opening. The same goes for some of the other tenants.

The moment building up the official ribbon-cutting ceremony took a while. The building was supposed to officially open back in December 2019, but a water main break put a hold on the ceremonies. The grand opening was delayed a second time in April due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the BMO Harris branch has been operational, Sept. 8 was the official grand opening for the entire building.


"We're not going to postpone this again, although for every person that wanted to have it there were 10 reasons for why we should wait, but I'm glad we didn’t,” David Casper, U.S. CEO, BMO Financial Group, said.

On a personal note from Digital Reporter James Groh: I have covered numerous building grand openings. This is the first one where the speakers talked as much about the state of the art features of the tower as they did the hygiene and health precautions they have taken into account. It seems to be a sign of the times.

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